Thursday, February 28, 2013

Journey of a Leader: Developing Others

By Kelly Giese - Kelley Staff

Mere days away from deployment, second-year MBA Megan Kuhn, and her student team reflect on their preparation for GLOBASE Guatemala in the fifth video of our "Journey of a Leader" series. Given a real world project with much information to process, the team shares what they've learned about their client's business and what they're expecting while in country. 

Beyond the assignment, we examine the concept of generational leadership. The team's remarkable progress to this point is a direct reflection of Megan's ability to lead. It's easy to see how she's influenced their enrollment in the process and commitment to their purpose.

Watch our "Journey of a Leader" series on YouTube.

Monday, February 25, 2013

MBA Gala: Keeping it classy in Bloomington

By Leila Bahbah - First-year MBA, Consumer Marketing Academy

February 9th was the annual Kelley MBA Gala (i.e. MBA Prom!), and it was a blast! The Gala is a formal event where we all get dressed up, have a nice dinner and dance the night away.  

During the first semester we had heard rumors of an MBA gala but nobody knew what it was about. It was some glamorous mystery event that we all wanted to attend. When we got back from winter break the gala hype was in full force. Everyone began making plans for the event from where to go for the pre-party, to where the girls were going to get their hair done, to how to dress to impress. Gala planning was definitely a nice break from internship interviews.

Every year there’s a different theme for the event, and this year the planning committee kept it pretty hush hush which created even more suspense and excitement. A couple weeks before the gala the theme was finally unveiled, Masquerade!! The talk around school evolved from who was going with whom to what your mask looked like and (for the girls) if you were going to plan your outfit around your mask or your mask around your outfit. Everyone was looking forward to this event; even the guys bought masks!
When the big day finally arrived people spent the better part of the day getting ready for the evening. I helped decorate for the event, so I got a preview of the fun that was to come. 
Master Decoraters!

My roommates and me at a Gala pre-party!
The gala was at the swankiest spot in town, the Bloomington Country Club. Once we arrived that evening there was an indescribable excitement in the air. All the girls were assessing each other’s dresses and all the guys were looking for the bar. We kicked off the evening with a nice sit down dinner, but right after we were done eating the dancing began. Masks were quickly discarded as people went from the dance floor to the gambling room to the photo booth. The gala went until midnight, but the night flew by! We were sad to see it end, but the next day my roommates and I sat around our living room reminiscing about our awesome night and already talking about next year’s gala. It will be really hard to top this year, but we’re all excited to see what happens next year!

Some photo booth action!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Studying abroad: A Once-In-A-Lifetime Experience

Second-year MBA, Consumer Marketing Academy 

Me in between two new friends

When I signed up to study abroad a year ago, I didn’t realize what an incredible experience it would be.  I arrived in Switzerland on January 2, 2013 and have loved every moment of it so far!  I attend the University of St. Gallen, which is one of the most respected business schools in Europe.  It is located about an hour outside of Zurich, one of the main business hubs of Europe. 

I am taking six courses, four of which are considered “core courses”. They are taught by some of Europe’s most respected professors and business people. The biggest surprise has been just how similar the theories are to what I have been taught at Kelley. The only twist: culture. When one does business in Europe, she must take into consideration all the different cultures and languages of the company’s stakeholders and ensure she is tailoring products and services accordingly. 

Me, Dan Bracke from Kelley, and Jessica from UT
 I believe the last year and a half at Kelley has truly prepared me for this program.  With over 30% of my class at Kelley being International, I was exposed to diverse team dynamics from day one. Another helpful experience at Kelley was participating in the GLOBASE Ghana consulting project last year.  It taught me important global business skills.  Kelley has also taught me a lot about networking.  We have been visiting a lot of European companies here ranging from Roche Pharmaceuticals to BMW to Maestrani Chocolates, etc.  My networking skills have been very helpful during these company visits.  In fact, networking seems to be so ingrained in me these days, I seem to do it everywhere, even on trains (recently I met a gentleman who is a wine importer on the train and at the end of the conversation, I asked for his business card of course!).

Which brings me to one of my favorite parts of studying abroad: traveling!  I have loved traveling since I was a little girl. In the last month, I have visited 12 cities in 7 countries in Europe. I purchased a 3-month EU Rail global pass, which gives me unlimited first-class travel via trains to 23 European countries. I have really enjoyed the incredible history, culture and architecture each of these cities have. 

All in all, my experience studying in Switzerland has been amazing so far.  I am growing every day as an individual and expanding my horizons in every sense off the word.  I would highly recommend a study abroad program to all my fellow Kelley classmates as well as other business students across the country.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Kelley Culture Outside the Classroom: Super Bowl Party at Prof Wayne Winston's

By Paige Krouse, Kelley Partner

On Super Bowl Sunday, my husband, myself, and 40-odd Kelley students and spouses made themselves comfortable at the home of professor Wayne Winston.  We crowded in the dining room and the living room, and then trickled across the basement, from the bar at one end to the exercise equipment at the other. It was yet another great opportunity to connect with faculty, students, and partners in Bloomington.

Professor Wayne Winston
When I moved to Bloomington, I was surprised to find that many professors (like Winston) invited students over for events and parties. My husband, Dan Krouse, is president of the MBA Association, a self-funded student organization. He told me the relationship between the faculty, staff, and student body at Kelley has always been a top priority and part of the Kelley culture.  Subsequently, I found that there were many opportunities to connect with faculty and staff outside of the classroom, even as a partner!

As we settled in to Winston’s basement during the Super Bowl, I was able to catch up with several of Dan’s peers, who had now become my own friends.  I talked with Hsi-nien, one of Dan’s teammates, about the complexities of "Grey’s Anatomy" lingo, and in between commercials, most conversations kept returning to IU’s basketball victory the night before. 

As the spouse of a student at Kelley, I could not have asked for a more welcoming environment than Bloomington. There was a thriving club for students’ partners already in place:  I suppose that after a few months, Midwestern hospitality starts to become ingrained in everyone!

My husband and I have been so happy with the program and its location.  We will be spending the last few months of our time here soaking up all that Kelley has to offer, and I know that even after graduation, we will continue to enjoy many of the great friendships we started here.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Advice from a Career Coach: How can I help a classmate with their off-campus job search?

Kendell Brown

By Kendell Brown
Associate Director - Coaching and Development, Graduate Career Services

How can I help a classmate with their off-campus job search?
You are thrilled you got the offer you’d been gunning for, but you look around and see a friend frustrated because she missed out on not just her top choice, but also her B-tier and C-tier options.  She’s got to start the dreaded off campus search.  How can you help?  It’s acceptable to do some commiserating, but that really doesn't help your friend land something for the summer.  Here are some ideas that will really help. 

Regular check ins – As you know, looking for a job can be exhausting.  The reality is that it’s not any easier when the search moves off campus.  One of the best things you can do is to regularly check in with a friend and see how things are going.  It will show your friend that you care, but even more importantly, it will work to ensure that the off campus search is maintaining momentum.  The jobs are out there, but they don’t come knocking on anyone’s door.  Weekly chats with your classmate will remind her that she needs to keep this a priority.

Help your friend define what he/she wants - Sometimes when someone starts doing an off campus search, target companies and contacts may not be that familiar with MBA’s and what we mean when we say “financial analyst”, “marketing strategy” etc.  All the person at the other end of the email/phone call hears is “I want a high paying job doing blah, blah, blah”.  Help a friend think through what they really want to do and then help them come up with a concise way to say it.  “I’m looking for a strategic assignment that allows me to work with divisional and/or corporate leadership to identify, analyze and execute key growth initiatives designed to drive value for an organization.”

Mock interviews – You have recently been through interviews and are well equipped to conduct a mock interview.  Ask questions that you got in your interviews.  Be honest and provide actionable, constructive criticism. 
Don’t:  “That was a pretty good answer, I’m surprised you haven’t gotten anything yet.”
Do:  “I got a sense of what you wanted to get across; however, I think a stronger answer would have provided more detail about the exact steps you took to get the project finished ahead of schedule.”

Review/revise a resume –By now everyone is well into their academy projects, if your friend is a career switcher help her include a bullet or two on her resume that shows some relevant (to where she wants to go) experience.  It will help recruiters see a commitment to the new career direction.

Get away from the b-school bubble – Take your friend out for some fun.  While it is unlikely hanging out at Nick’s is going to help someone get an offer, sometimes you wake up with a clearer head and renewed vigor after having sunk a “Biz”.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

The Skinny on the Best Professors in B-School

By Ryan Melnikas, Second-year MBA, Marketing & Business Analytics 

The Kelley School has THE BEST professors  in the country, but when I was applying, I paid little attention to this fact. I, like most prospective students, looked at overall program rankings, job placement #s, and the usual B-School criteria. However, I’ve come to love the classroom experience here and want to share my high opinion of a few select professors (and have a little innocent fun at their expense!). In the spirit of the upcoming NBA All-star game and the Hoosier state's obsession with basketball, I present...

The Inside Scoop
You call THAT a fair price!
Courses I’ve taken with Rockney: Pricing                    
What he’s like: Hilarious, caring, engaging, analytical, and pragmatic
What he brings to the table: He’s consulted for everyone who’s anyone and he’ll teach you pricing tools you can use in your internship and career. Plus, he’ll make you laugh out loud at least once a class.
NBA Player he most resembles: Magic Johnson- he’s loves the game, makes everyone around him better, and has a flair for the dramatic.

 Whose got sustainable competitive advantage?

Course I’ve taken with Neil: Marketing Strategy, Brand Asset Management
What he’s like: Brutally honest, brilliant, clever, thinks strategically (i.e., always at least 10 steps ahead of you).
What he brings to the table: He won’t coddle you- and neither will your future boss. Neil cuts through B-school jargon with an ax, so be prepared for his class! Don’t be too frightened though- it’s exhilarating- like playing one-on-one with Allen Iverson (he blows you away, but at least you’ve learned something).
NBA Player he most resembles: Iverson in his prime- he’s got swagger, he’s the best, he knows, you know, and he’s not afraid to say it. Plus, at least once a class his crossover (strategic insight) will leave you awed.

Courses I’ve taken with Vijay: Data Mining, Data Warehousing
What he’s like: Eclectic in his tastes and education, deceptively witty, analytical with a hint of artsy (his favorite band is Vampire Weekend).
What he brings to the table: Vijay loves data, but he loves telling a story with data even more. He’ll inspire you to find the ‘so what’ of figures and graphs and to wow people with your spreadsheets and SPSS output.
NBA Player he most resembles: John Stockton- he succeeded in making a dry, boring bunch, the Utah Jazz (data), into a surprisingly enjoyable experience and he’s constantly improving. Don’t underestimate Stockton’s quiet demeanor- he’s a gamer.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Kelley Marketing Club Reviews the Ads of Super Bowl XLVII

Professor Adam Duhachek and Second-year MBA Scott Brown lead the presentation at Crazy Horse.
By Scott BrownMatt Giese, and Theresa Muench - Second-year MBAs, Consumer Marketing Academy

The Kelley Marketing Club conducted a comprehensive analysis of this year’s Super Bowl ads to uncover general trends. 

The study used a content analysis methodology developed by KMC and Professor Adam Duhachek to examine the set of ads for marketing strategies used this year, such as the focus of the ad, stylistic trends (i.e. use of humor or celebrity endorsers), and key details such as ad length and industries represented.  

The content analysis allows for some critical comparisons between this year and 2012 to help foreshadow where marketers are taking their brands in 2013. 

What’s Different in 2013:
From an industry standpoint, the most significant change was the reduction in the number of automobile ads, down 25% this year. Food and non-alcoholic beverages jumped by 38%, representing the largest category increase.

Professor Adam Duhachek
         A key strategic difference noted this year involves a 50% decrease in brands promoting functional differences in their products, such as calling out specific attributes that dominate their competition. Instead, marketers overwhelmingly (85% of ads) chose to emphasize emotional benefits associated with using the product. Professor Duhachek noted this change potentially reflects how brands are changing their competitive strategies away from direct comparisons with other brands, and focusing on creating an inimitable personality that provides a lasting competitive advantage.

 Humor was hot in 2013 as it was identified in 75% of this year’s ads, up 13% from last year. Animals continue to be popular, rising 5% this year to appear in 23% of 2013 ads. Celebrity endorsers were used less, dropping 22% from 2012. Also, the use of comparative advertising where brands mention key competitors was on the decline, decreasing 10% over 2012.

Perhaps reflecting the need for immediacy in today’s fast-paced environment, brands used an early brand name reveal strategy significantly more than in 2012, with 67% of ads mentioning the brand name in the first 15 seconds.
There's always a great turnout for Kelley Marketing Club's signature event. 

What Trends Carried Over from 2012:
  • Similar to 2012, nearly half of the ads launched a new product (40%).
  • The brand personalities that came through the most in 2013 – excitement, competence, and sincerity – were similar to those of 2012 year. 
  • The majority of ads (71%) continued to focus on the consumer, as opposed to focus on the product within the ads. Also, most ads featured both men and women within the ad, likely reflecting the diverse nature of the Super Bowl audience.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

From the MBA Core to the Real World… Hibachi Style

First-year MBA, Consumer Marketing Academy

During the Kelley MBA Core, our Operations class analyzed a Benihana case study that highlighted Benihana’s ability to flow customers through the restaurant in way that worked well for the customer and for sales. Our professor, Kyle Cattani used the case to illustrate the concept of throughput rates. We learned that every part of the Benihana dining experience served a purpose. For example, if you did have to wait for a table, there was a bar. This served as a holding pen that ensured the entire restaurant was always full.

MBAs analyzing real life experience with in-class learnings
Upon being seated, drink orders and entrees were taken quickly and appetizers arrived within minutes. While eating the appetizers, you were approached by a chef decked-out in Japanese attire who cooked your entire meal in front of you, all the while keeping you entertained with his knife skills and funny banter. He then signaled for you to leave by finishing his show and the waitstaff would start vacuuming at your feet. The customer felt satisfied by the entertaining meal, and Benihana was able to fill the seat quickly with a new customer.

Having learned all of this about Benihana, me and some of my friends were craving hibachi-style dining and wanted to make a trip to Benihana. Alas, the closest Benihana was over an hour away in Indianapolis. As busy MBA students, time is always an issue. We wanted to be efficient in our meal but also be reasonable about traveling out of the area. We ended up finding a local hibachi spot in Bloomington.

A group of MBA first-years made our way to Domo Sushi & Steak, our mouths watering from anticipation after doing this case just a couple months earlier and never fulfilling the initial craving. Upon arrival, there was no bar waiting room. It took ten minutes to seat our group, even though many of the hibachi tables were empty. We ordered our drinks soon after being seated, but then the wait continued. Forty-five minutes later, drinks arrived and forty-five minutes after that, our chef showed up. The food was delicious, but since our meal took over three hours, all we could say over and over again was, “Cattani would have been very disappointed with this”. It is always fun to apply in-class learning to real life experiences and this was a great example for us first-years!

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Journey of a Leader: If it were easy, everyone would do it.

Second-year MBA, Consumer Marketing Academy 

Here we are, right in the middle of the GLOBASE Guatemala experience.  Our twenty student consultants have been assigned teams and their client projects.  

All of our clients for GLOBASE Guatemala.
Two weeks ago, our five Guatemalan clients traveled to Bloomington (the first time in the United States for some) for 3 days to meet their student consultants.  The students were able to ask those important questions of their clients so they can get a good understanding of the critical issues their clients are facing and gut check some of their assumptions and hypotheses.  

We've gone through four GLOBASE classes where guest speakers have lectured on: doing business in Latin America, consulting frameworks used by top U.S. consulting firms, economic conditions and realities of Guatemala, marketing frameworks used to formulate and assess specific project objectives, and a case study of a U.S. firm’s involvement in the tumultuous history of Guatemala.  It’s been an incredible 4 weeks so far, but it’s not easy.  That’s why I have a certain respect for the people that sign up for this program.

My team with our Guatemalan client.
Consulting a small/medium enterprise in a foreign country comes with a set of challenges.  Becoming knowledgeable about the economic climate of Guatemala is not easy, especially if you haven’t been there before.  Meeting your clients for the first time can be intimidating … they have high expectations for you.  Adjusting your assumptions about the company mid-project isn’t the easiest thing in the world.  Discovering enough about the company so you can come up with a clear project objective sounds easy, but it’s far from it. "You want to increase profits…yeah, by how much? By cutting costs where?  How long do you have to become profitable?  Six months?  One year?  Two years?  Who is the target purchaser of your client’s goods?  Are you sure?"

Suffice it to say, our students are at the crux of their GLOBASE projects.  If you were to graph difficulty on the y axis and time on the x, we’d be at the top of the curve, the height of difficulty but almost ready for the downward slope.  It’s uncomfortable.  It’s ambiguous.  It’s hard.

But if it were easy, everyone would do it.

My team enjoying a few drinks with our client.
Yes, our students are probably at the most difficult point in the GLOBASE journey, but that will make the payoff even sweeter.  In four weeks, we will be in-country.  The students will see their client’s business up close.  They’ll fine-tune their assumptions and tools.  They’ll do on-the-ground research in real time with the employees of the company.  They’ll put their MBA skills to use.  They’ll deliver value to their clients.  They’ll teach. 

That’s the payoff.   And that payoff is reserved for the people that put in the hard work that GLOBASE necessitates. 

Watch Megan in our "Journey of a Leader" series on YouTube.

Monday, February 4, 2013

"What Did You Do Over Winter Break? I Went On A Trek!"

First Year MBA, Consumer Marketing Academy

“How was your winter break?  What did you do?” were common questions heard in the hallways of Kelley during the month of January. While it was tempting to do nothing but relax with family and friends over the three week break, a lot of us first year students chose to participate in one or more of the student-led treks over winter break.  At Kelley, treks are completely designed and organized by students. As a co-leader on my trip, it was my job to uncover company contacts that would be willing to host us and plan all of the logistics for getting the group of students to the right places at the right times. 

Trek visits are helpful to a) meet people that you might not have met at past networking events, b) further show your interest in the company, and c) assess the company’s culture to see if it’s the right fit for you.  This year we had treks organized to visit companies in the following cities:

  • Chicago, IL
  • Southern California (greater Los Angeles area)
  • San Francisco Bay Area
  • Minneapolis, MN & Madison, WI
  • New York, NY
  • Detroit, MI

I had a great time on the Minneapolis/Madison trek with fifteen of my classmates. On our first day we visited General Mills, where we toured the Betty Crocker test kitchen and had a Q&A panel with a few Assistant Marketing Managers. In the afternoon we went to Target’s headquarters for a networking lunch with some members of the buying team, a tour of the office, and a case study on toys. We ended the day with a happy hour at Chino Latino, one of Uptown’s best lounges and restaurants for the young professional crowd.

Day Two proved to be just as fun and interesting as our first day: We spent the morning at 3M’s headquarters and toured the Innovation Center, which I liken to a science museum that focuses on 3M’s history, products, and technologies.  It is seriously the coolest place – we got to watch a movie about the company in their own mini-IMAX theater, complete with leather reclining chairs!  Afterwards we toured one of the office buildings and had the opportunity to network with about twenty people who worked in marketing and strategy roles in the company.   

Our second company visit for the day was with Land O’Lakes.  We participated in a cheese sensory evaluation and a marketing case study about how to work with advertising agencies on developing and selecting the best print ad for a new product launch.  We finally bid the Twin Cities farewell and caravanned to Madison, WI to get a good night’s sleep before the next day’s visit.

Day Three was all about B-O-L-O-G-N-A:  We had a great group of Oscar Mayer employees host us for the day.  Several people spoke to us about various topics, such as how to make the most of a small marketing budget when working on a small brand.  The SVP of Marketing at Oscar Mayer even came to talk to us about her career with Kraft and answered any questions we had.  The day ended with our hosts treating us to a dinner at one of Madison’s best restaurants, Graze. 

Finally, on Day Four, we packed up our things and drove back to Bloomington in time for the start of spring classes.  My winter break flew by much too quickly, but the trek was definitely a great way to wrap it up!  Which companies do you want to visit on a trek when you’re a first year student this fall?

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Creating My Own Major

First-year MBA, Business Marketing Academy

One of the things I love about Kelley is the fact that I can design my own major. I am pursuing Strategic Human Resource Management post MBA, which is a less traditional path for a Kelley student. However, by creating my major, I am able to get a strong business foundation while also taking part in classes that speak to my future industry. 

Before coming to Kelley, I worked within the financial services and advisory arena. As a career switcher, I knew it was imperative that I craft my curriculum very carefully to best utilize my degree. In choosing classes, I have had the opportunity to consult with Kelley Alum, professors, and my academic adviser to create a tailored learning experience that will build skillsets that I will not only need during my summer internship but that I will also need in my fulltime transition into HR.

 I find the guidance from Kelley resources to be extremely helpful because they have encouraged me to expand my classes to include courses within the other schools at Indiana University. For example, I plan to take a class at the Maurer School of Law to learn about labor laws and I also plan to take a class at the School of Public and Environmental Affairs (SPEA) to learn about labor relations. In addition, I will take classes at Kelley within management, leadership, and strategy which will give me a holistic learning experience. Overall, I am very pleased with the ability to create my own major and the support I have received while doing so.